Saturday Poet: Dorothy Parker
Lilacs blossom just as sweet
Now my heart is shattered.
If I bowled it down the street,
Who's to say it mattered?
If there's one that rode away
What would I be missing?
Lips that taste of tears, they say,
Are the best for kissing.
Eyes that watch the morning star
Seem a little brighter;
Arms held out to darkness are
Shall I bar the strolling guest,
Bind my brow with willow,
When, they say, the empty breast
Is the softer pillow?
That a heart falls tinkling down,
Never think it ceases.
Every likely lad in town
Gathers up the pieces.
If there's one gone whistling by
Would I let it grieve me?
Let him wonder if I lie;
Let him half believe me.
The False Friends
They laid their hands upon my head,
They stroked my cheek and brow;
And time could heal a hurt, they said,
And time could dim a vow.
And they were pitiful and mild
Who whispered to me then,"
The heart that breaks in April, child,
Will mend in May again."
Oh, many a mended heart they knew.
So old they were, and wise.
And little did they have to do
To come to me with lies!
Who flings me silly talk of May
Shall meet a bitter soul;
For June was nearly spent away
Before my heart was whole.
The friends I made have slipped and strayed,
And who's the one that cares?
A trifling lot and best forgot-
And that's my tale, and theirs.
Then if my friendships break and bend,
There's little need to cry
The while I know that every foe
Is faithful till I die.
Four be the things I am wiser to know:
Idleness, sorrow, a friend, and a foe.
Four be the things I’d been better without:
Love, curiosity, freckles, and doubt.
Three be the things I shall never attain:
Envy, content, and sufficient champagne.
Three be the things I shall have till I die:
Laughter and hope and a sock in the eye.
When I was bold, when I was bold-
And that's a hundred years!-
Oh, never I thought my breast could hold
The terrible weight of tears.
I said: "Now some be dolorous;
I hear them wail and sigh,
And if it be Love that play them thus,
Then never a love will I."
I said: "I see them rack and rue,
I see them wring and ache,
And little I'll crack my heart in two
With little the heart can break."
When I was gay, when I was gay-
It's ninety years and nine!-
Oh, never I thought that Death could lay
His terrible hand in mine.
I said: "He plies his trade among
The musty and infirm;
A body so hard and bright and young
Could never be meat for worm."
"I see him dull their eyes," I said,
"And still their rattling breath.
And how under God could I be dead
That never was meant for Death?"
But Love came by, to quench my sleep,
nd here's my sundered heart;
And bitter's my woe, and black, and deep,
And little I guessed a part.
Yet this there is to cool my breast,
And this to ease my spell;
Now if I were Love's, like all the rest,
Then can I be Death's, as well.
And he shall have me, sworn and bound,
And I'll be done with Love.
And better I'll be below the ground
Than ever I'll be above.
My land is bare of chattering folk;
The clouds are low along the ridges,
And sweet's the air with curly smoke
From all my burning bridges.